DesignSingapore Presents: ‘Visions of the Future’

Feb 25, 2020

21 – 26 April | Press Preview: 20 April, 10.00 - 19.00 |BASE Milano, Via Bergognone 34, 20144, Milan

A curated showcase of seven designs by emerging Singaporean designers for Milan Design Week 2020. Each design has been hand-selected for its visionary approach to current issues, with key focuses of the showcase looking at the improvement of health and wellbeing, designing for multigenerational living, sustainable processes, new materials and safety through design.

Mass Production of Happinesst

Above: ‘Mass Production of Happiness’ by Yingxuan Teo – a device that can be used to create 100% natural soap – is one of the seven new products to be displayed at the Design Singapore showcase during Milan Design Week


February 2020 – The DesignSingapore Council was established in 2003 to support the development of the nation’s design sector. For the first time ever at Milan Design Week 2020, the Council is delighted to provide a platform for emerging Singaporean designers via a curated showcase at the third edition of Ventura Future, an exhibition that highlights original, cutting-edge and impactful design.

“It is a joy to see our young designers’ in-depth design research and creative responses to the pressing concerns of today. From transforming the act of soapmaking into a meditative ritual, to empowering the elderly to hold onto their fading memories, these young designers provide a fresh perspective to everyday issues that anyone can appreciate. We are most excited to present this intimate show to the world during Milan Design Week for all to enjoy,” - Mark Wee, Executive Director, DesignSingapore Council.


‘Mass Production of Happiness’ by Yingxuan Teo

‘Mass Production of Happiness’ by Yingxuan Teo is a project which envisions a near future where plastic packaging is eliminated from the cosmetics industry, with single-use plastic being replaced by entirely sustainable ‘make your own’ systems. Yingxuan Teo has designed a soap-making device which can be incorporated into an everyday routine. The device uses natural ingredients, for example the Aloe Vera plant, therefore avoiding the harsh chemicals that are often used in everyday soap products.

Mass Production of Happinesst

Above: ‘Mass Production of Happiness’ by Yingxuan Teo


‘Rewind’ by Poh Yun Ru

‘Rewind’ by Poh Yun Ru is a communication tool for people with dementia – who rely heavily on repetition in everyday life via sounds, smells and sights in order to retain memory. A motion-tracking tool produces visual and audio feedback through a paired device and asks the user to relate personal memories which they associate with the images and sounds that appear on the screen. The device records the visual and audio cues that each user relies upon, and subsequently re-enacts familiar gestures that prompt and evoke memories in the user. ‘Rewind’ hopes to encourage people with dementia to recall, share, and create new memories with one another. With a growing elderly population in Singapore and globally, designing for the multigenerational home will be of increasing relevance in the next decade.


Above: ‘Rewind’ by Poh Yun Ru


‘Pneumatics Touch’ by Sheryl Teng

Taking an experimental approach to pneumatics (a branch of engineering that makes use of pressurised air), Sheryl Teng seeks to investigate how air, a readily available resource that is intangible, can “come to life” in the form of a pneumatic textile, which responds to the needs of the user and the environment.

Pneumatics Touch

Above: ‘Pneumatics Touch’ by Sheryl Teng


Using a battery-operated handheld heat sealer and pleated fabric, Teng produced an inflatable, stretchy resilient material made up of multiple compact air pockets that can be used for a variety of purposes. The resulting series of clothing, objects and protective cases that Teng created serves to reimagine the system and application of pneumatic objects, utilising its thermal insulating properties. The innovative series comprises thermal wear, a laptop case, a space partition and applications to a wingback chair and lamp.


‘Ji Jian Wu’ (吉简物/ Objects of Feng Shui) by Lin Qiuxia

Lin Quixia presents a contemporary take on the traditional objects which are used in Feng Shui, a practice that is deeply embedded in Chinese culture.

Each object by Lin Quixia is designed to maintain the Feng Shui meaning associated with its traditional counterpart. In line with Feng Shui practices, the collection uses porcelain – a naturally derived material – which is believed to embody spirit. A gold glazing finishing highlights the main features of each object and attracts the viewers' attention to each unique element.

Through ‘Objects of Feng Shui’, Lin Qiuxia creates a new channel to pass down cultural heritage to a new generation, as well as open the door for others across the globe to understand Chinese culture and traditional practices.

Objects of Feng Shui

Above: ‘Objects of Feng Shui’ by Lin Qiuxia


‘Canvas’ by Ng Luowei & Mervyn Chen

‘Canvas’ offers a visionary approach to the ‘make do and mend’ culture which fell out of fashion as goods became cheaper. Designers Ng Luowei and Mervyn Chen have repurposed quick-drying liquid rubber paint to become a material that can be used to restore and repair worn-out shoes in creative patterns. Shoe repair is democratised and unique works emerge in every attempt to breathe new life into old favourites, thereby reducing the number of shoes that are unnecessarily thrown away each year.


Above: ‘Canvas’ by Ng Luowei and Mervyn Chen


‘Echo’ by Kevin Chiam

The majority of deaths in building fires are a result of people dismissing emergencies as false alarms. In response, Kevin Chiam has designed ‘Echo’, a system that leverages on the concept of fear to encourage occupant evacuation.

‘Echo’ is designed to be used alongside existing fire alarm systems, with the modules being triggered after the building’s incident manager has confirmed an actual fire outbreak. When deployed, an inflatable balloon within each module rapidly expands as air is pushed through a connected air pump. The tension and discomfort associated with the imminent balloon bursting motivates people to act, a critical first step to safety.

‘Echo’ modules can also be fitted along corridors to facilitate path finding by blocking and redirecting people away from escape routes that are either overcrowded or lost to fire. In these situations, modules are activated by temperature and proximity sensors instead.


Above: ‘Echo’ by Kevin Chiam – a modular fire alarm system


‘Phenomenal Wood’ by Jasmine Quek

The ‘Chun’ collection by Jasmine Quek – part of her wider ‘Phenomenal Wood’ project – is a modern reinterpretation of traditional teaware that is used in the Chinese GongFu tea ceremony. Quek explores and manipulates the properties of wood, resulting in pieces that are both beautiful and functional.

‘Inked Tray’ adorns a stain akin to traditional Chinese painting. By simply rubbing steel wool across the surface of vinegar-coated wood, a chemical reaction that permanently alters wood’s colour along the grains as the vinegar dries off, forming a natural pattern that the guest can appreciate during the tea ritual.

Phenomenal Wood

Above: ‘Phenomenal Wood’ by Jasmine Quek


‘Grained Tea Boat’ was created from a block of hemlock wood that was sandblasted to naturally remove its softer, more water-absorbent earlywood. This formed gaps between the harder latewood that remains undisturbed to create a natural, more water-resistant grill that allows liquids to be disposed of during the tea ritual.

The showcase is curated by Wendy Chua and Gustavo Maggio of the Singapore design studio Forest & Whale, and is supported by Panelogue, a sustainable materials provider from Singapore.




For further information, high-res images or interview opportunities, please contact:
Rhiannon Johns at
Bridgette See at




BASE Milano
Via Bergognone 34, 20144, Milan, Italy

Press Preview
Monday 20 April: 10:00 – 19:00

Opening hours
Tuesday 21 April – Saturday 25 April: 10:00 – 20:00
Wednesday 22 April (Open evening): 20:00 – 22:00
Sunday 26 April: 10:00 – 18:00



The DesignSingapore Council was established in 2003 to help develop the nation’s design sector. This follows from the Singapore’s Economic Review Committee report, which identified the creative industry as one of the three new sectors (including education and healthcare) for economic growth. Developing the design sector can help to enhance Singapore’s value proposition; as well as contribute to the country’s economic growth and social progress.

The vision of the DesignSingapore Council is for Singapore to be an innovation-driven economy and a loveable city through design by 2025. As the national agency for design, the Council’s mission is to develop the design sector, help Singapore use design for innovation and growth, and make life better in this UNESCO Creative City of Design. Our work focuses on three areas. First, we help organisations and enterprises use design as a strategy for business growth; and for excellent delivery of public services. Second, we nurture industry-ready talents skilled in design and innovation; and engender a design-minded workforce for the future economy. Third, we advance the Singapore brand through raising design appreciation on home-ground; and making emotional connections with people across the world.

Singapore was designated a UNESCO Creative City of Design in December 2015. This designation supports the development of a creative culture and eco-system in Singapore that fully integrates design and creativity into everyday life. It is also an opportunity for Singapore to collaborate internationally with the cities of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN). The City of Design Office is sited within the DesignSingapore Council to coordinate and implement programmes that contributes towards the UCCN mission. / @designsingapore


Based in Singapore and Buenos Aires, Gustavo Maggio and Wendy Chua co-founded the multi-disciplinary design practice Forest & Whale in 2015 to create product, furniture and spatial experiences. Their focus lies in co-creation with communities, pedagogies to instil creativity in children, museum design and curatorial research. They have recently designed the Red Dot Design Museum in Xiamen, China, and curated the exhibition Human–Nature for Red Dot Design Museum Singapore. Formerly part of the design collective Outofstock, their works have received the Electrolux Design Lab Award, Red Dot Design Award, Japan’s Good Design Award and the Singapore President*s Design Award.









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